Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Be Careful What You Vote For

Suppose you had signed up for an expensive package of on-demand movies in glorious full HD (1920 x 1080), but discovered that most of the programming is in pathetic DVD resolution (720 x 480). Fortunately the new MDA guideline stipulates that cancelling charges must be pro-rated, on new contracts capped at 2 years. But what is the recourse if you voted for a president who fails to deliver on your expectations?

The Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) seems to be embarking on another "education exercise" on behalf of the powers seated on high. Coming after an earlier survey debunking the effects of social media on the last election, they have produced another study to prove that voters got it wrong, again.

Apparently a majority of respondents believe the elected president is there to ensure the Government manages the economy well. Some even believe he is free to speak publicly on national issues that are important to us. 66 percent of those surveyed actually thinks the least he could do was to make sure the Government does what it promised during the hustings of the general election. In other words, for 4 million smackeroos, this guy better justify his existence. What we don't want is another free loader who summarises his years of service with a memoir aptly titled "Why Am I Here?"

Indeed, why is there a president, installed at great expense to the taxpayers, if all he does is shake hands with foreign visitors and speak out for the people only when he has been given permission to do so? If he requires official authorisation just to open his mouth, where will he find the authority to disagree with the government's spending of the reserves and object to appointment of cronies to high office? With this godless government in office, personal religious and moral conviction is already checked out at the door.

If there is a legal basis to nullify the election outcome, nobody is interested to explore it. One constitutional law expert even proposed using TV drama to "educate" the people, so they won't feel short-changed. "Have a 24-part Channel 8 drama on some features of the presidency, showing crises and so on, set the date at 2050. You might actually succeed." SMU lecturer Eugene Tan is less sanguine, opining that any Government attempt to educate voters will be perceived as trying to "straitjacket" the office. The soap opera continues.


  1. "With this godless government in office, personal religious and moral conviction is already checked out at the door". Unquote.

    Just like You to know that atheists have got consciences and humanities. What they do not believe in are supernaturals and superstitions.

    To link morality and conscience to religions is like link morons to lack of education. Me thinks morons are morons and those born without conscience, no god can stop their wickedness.


  2. trying to brain wash and condition the poor singaporeans again.

    how to trust one who believe that our pledge is only an aspiration.

    I can't. period.

  3. You're railing against the wrong people. The powers of the President are as prescribed in the Constitution. It's not the sitting President's fault if he can't open his mouth unless the govt says so. Are you saying our President should not obey the law?

    If you have a problem with the status quo, you should go to your Meet the People session and ask your MP to move a Constitutional amendment in Parliament.

  4. Interesting fact. President Tan's son-in-law has just been appointed new Dean of NUS Law School after more than 60 candidates were considered.

  5. Since we cannot nullify the election outcome, can we give the President a 12 year deferment instead.

  6. Blame it on the steady hand. But seriously, the President is head of government. The IPS is wrong.

  7. Which church is the Sin President attending?

  8. The President is Head of State and the PM is the Head of Government

  9. /// With this godless government in office, personal religious and moral conviction is already checked out at the door. ///

    Generally agree with what you say, except this sentence.

    You should leave god out of government and politics.

    Moral conviction is not dependent on god. And I would rather that all MPs chuck their gods out of the door before entering parliament. Don't want another Thio Li Ann and her fundie preaching in parliament.

  10. Who got it wrong it the first place if they decide pay our President S$4M+ yearly for shaking hands while our PM is paid S$3M+ yearly for shaking legs (pun intended with so many ASSistants)?

  11. Fours years of dead fish???

  12. What do you expect after 12 years of silent presidency?
    Now don't point your finger and said that singaporeans are so misinformed.
    And one more thing, we din't do that badly as the left column indicated reasonable %. The right column is what the people want = expectations. So is not that they get it wrong. The question to ask is whether this govt, led by the Head of Govt, is hearing clearly. Or are they sticking with the convoluted and complicating constitution laws that have is only suited to the Incumbent party's agenda?

    Meantime, we're stuck for 6 damn years.

  13. I'm pleased to know that 55% (in ST lingo, that's A MAJORITY of singaporeans you know..) oppose to his salary being more than PM. And so let's see this president take the high road.

    I also want to know how many interim-houses he has visited, apart from opening his Ivory Istana and gracing nice charity houses. Someone wrote in earlier about those annoying Bedbugs, mosquitoes, cockroaches, urine-stained corridors and, sometimes, common walkways sullied by faeces - or is this President going to say "not singaporeans only"?

  14. Yes, and the Wayang continues . . .


  15. Like it or not the president has the power to block the use of our reserves. So for the government, the choice of president is very important. That explained why PAP was so earger to get whoever they can trust in during the last election. Whoever designed this EP scheme must realised that it is a two-way sword. It can work for the government but can also hamper its program. EP is more powerful than they want us to believe. So far all our presidents have been towing the line so there is no disagreement of policy. It will be interesting to see if for some starnge reason an opposition is voted in as ruling government. Will our EP tow the same line?

  16. My god !

    The current president seems to be
    popular and well-known for reasons
    not related to his office, but those
    related to him.

  17. Anon @ Nov 2nd 8.37pm "I'm pleased to know that 55% oppose to his salary being more than PM."

    Could this not be used to justify another round of pay increase for cabinet ministers?

  18. Of course the Cabinet Ministers deserve more than the President. Those Cabinet Members that take charge of multiple ministries should be paid even more.